10 Dance Studio Marketing Strategies You’re Not Doing – But You Should Be
As a former dance studio owner, I know that I spent many sleepless nights wondering how I get the word out more about my dance studio with a new advertising campaign. I tried many, many things over the years I owned a studio – some successful, some that ended up being a huge waste of money – but by doing this, I can give you my list of what advertising strategies I know can be successful that I don’t think other studio owners do enough of:
- Website: First and foremost, if you don’t have a website, then you need to get one, and now! Your website is a great way to advertise your classes, programs, events, etc. So it’s not enough just to have a website with standard contact information – you need to fill it up with information about your studio. When I had a website, my dance school’s website was the #1 way we would find new students. You could design the website yourself (which is what we did), which gives you a lot more control over the website. You don’t have to have any prior experience if you use this non-technical guide to creating a website with WordPress. But if you don’t want to/don’t have the time for that, you could use a company to design it for you, such as 99 Designs.
- E-mail Advertising: Once you get people on your website, you need to get them on an email list. That way, you can keep contact them while they’re deciding whether or not they want to become your customer. You can also add a part to your registration form that automatically enters new students into your email list. Then you can send out newsletters reminding customers (and potential customers) about early registration deals, costume payment due dates, audition dates, etc. This is a great feature I loved having as a studio owner – and if you use a great email marketing service such as Constant Contact, you’ll be able to have incredibly professional emails without having to design it yourself, you’ll be able to view who opens and doesn’t open your emails, etc. If you’re not already doing this, you have got to start!
- Videos: Not only did my online traffic increase once I started my studio’s YouTube Channel, but I also started getting customers who would sign their children up for lessons because they said they watched our videos. I always liked to not just have videos from recitals & competitions but also videos from my recreational classes to let parents know what they were getting when they signed their child up for dance classes. You can tape classes with one of these affordable cameras and then you can edit your videos using this video editing software, which is on sale.
- Utilize Social Media Accounts: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways to keep your customers engaged – and attract new customers by making posts that highlight your programs. You can also put your videos on social media, too, and it doesn’t even have to take up all your time – once you have a great post or video, you can keep sharing it on social media over & over without any work at all with Revive Social.
- Use Pinterest: A lot of dance studios use the standard social media accounts (like Facebook or Twitter) but I have found not enough use Pinterest, which personally I think is a mistake. One of your biggest target audiences as a dance studio owner and per ComScore, around 80% of mothers are active on Pinterest. Here’s a great guide to getting started with marketing your business on Pinterest – including how you can get your Pins noticed without you having to do much work!
- Press Release: Every time something significant happens with your dance studio – such as your recital, wins at a dance competition, you move into a bigger space, you get another location – you need to get the word out so that your community knows just how great and important your dance studio is! You can do this with a press release and if this seems overwhelming, don’t worry; 24-7 Press Release is a wonderful option with lots of options, from one post to a mass media visibility option where you will get so much exposure!
- Bing Ads: A lot of people do Google Ads, but in my opinion, not enough people do Bing Ads. It is a wonderful way to get more customers. I have actually had more success using Bing Ads than Google Ads – and this blog outlines how to make the most of a Bing Ad Campaign.
- Improve Your Web Presence: Now you can control the content on your website and social media accounts, but what about your presence online? And by this, I mean local directories, reviews, etc. You can only control this so much – but you can with Localworks, where you can control how you come across on directories and get notifications if you get bad reviews so you can respond to customers and get ahead of it before you have a PR nightmare.
- Postcards: I am pretty much always on my phone and computer, but not everyone is that way. So how do you reach customers who aren’t finding you online or aren’t getting referred by other customers? I had the best success with sending out postcards, mainly because they are smaller and the postage is cheaper so you can reach more customers for the same amount of money as say brochure. Some companies, like 1-800 Postcards, will even send the postcards out for you over an entire region, so you’ll know the word has gotten out about your business!
- Classified Ads: And finally, Dance Teacher Finder can help you get your name out – we now have a classifieds section where you can list upcoming auditions to help get the word out.